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heatreof theDamned is a short scenario best suited for characters in their first or second careers, but it can
be easily modified to suit anygroup. It takes aday of PCs time and can be finished in one session. The scenario is placed in Nuln but with very minor modifications any larger Imperial, or Bretonnian, town could be used. Theatre of the Damned consists of three acts. First, some background to the scenario and a brief synopsis are given, followed by the actual adventure. These are followed by descriptions of all the key NPCs, and a map. Background
The story of the Froila brothers is, like their playwright profession, full of drama. Arias and Alvaro were born as twins in Altdorf some thirty years ago. But to the horror of their Burgher parents, one of the brothers was a Mutant; Alvaro, younger by few minutes, was born with a tentacle for left hand. The horrified parents could not find it in their hearts to turn their baby over to the authorities. Instead, assoon as they learned that Witch Hunters were rummaging through the neighbourhood in search of mutant children, they fled to Nuln. The twins were raised by their parents until a red pox epidemic claimed them fifteen years ago. Since then, the twins have had to cope on their own. The brothers have always been close, even though their demeanours differ quite a bit. Arias has always been a social and outgoing character, whereas Alvaro’s condition meant that he had to live a concealed life, forced to hide in the shadows and seek the company of his kind. While Arias was studying at the University of Nuln, Alvaro, skulking in the shadows and hideouts of the old building, quickly learned to read and write as well. And the brothers discovered that it was, in fact, Alvaro who had true skill with the pen. During his days in the university, Arias learned of the prestige and fame playwrights like Detlef Sierck and Stefan Sphielburg had achieved. He soon decided to become a famous playwright in his own right, one who would one day get to meet the Countess herself. But, knowing that his skills were quite modest in comparison to his brother’s talent, Arias convinced his brother to start writing plays in his name. He, in turn, used his social flair to promote the plays. Their first play, a satire called Sigmar’sLost Pantaloons, was a huge success. Almost overnight Arias became the hottest new talent in Nuln, where fame and fortune come and go like nowhere else in the Empire. He was invited to lavish parties where he got to brush shoulders with the city’s crème de la crème. Alvaro, cursed by his mutation, was unable to attend any of these events. But, with the help of his Mutant
friends, he often slipped into the dark gardens and balconies to sneak a peek at the festivities. And it was on one of those occasions when Alvaro saw Lady Anita von Liebeskummer. With her blond hair and bright blue eyes, she was an angelic apparition in Alvaro’s eyes. He fell in love with the girl on first sight and quickly became obsessed with her. He often snuck into the von Liebeskummer garden at night just to admire her sleeping form. Intoxicated with the success of Sigmar’s Lost Pantaloons, Arias urged his twin to write more. Alvaro, wallowing head over heels in his denied love, agreed. But his following plays were all syrupy dramas of love denied and doomed affairs. The jaded theatre-goers of Nuln soon grew bored with these overtly melodramatic performances. The agitated Arias watched his fame and new-found glory slip out of his grasp - he was becoming the laughingstock of the nobility! He scolded his brother for maintaining impossible fantasies about the noblewoman and told him how people laughed at his melodramatic stories. Arias demanded that he write something else, perhaps a parody or a satire– they were popular in Altdorf at the moment. Being sensitive, Alvaro took all the criticism and mockery very personally, an attack against his only light in life. But he would have his revenge. Alvaro had learned many dark and dirty secrets while he had been observing the city’s nobility from the shadows. Now he used that information to write a parody so dead-on and sharp-tongued that it caused a huge scandal on its opening night, and was promptly cancelled. Many influential people found themselves disgraced, and the finger of blame pointed at Arias Froila. The twins were barely able to flee from the lynch-mobs. To find a place to hide, Arias sought the help of a local Racketeer, Anton Schopranus, who had provided him with Mandrake Root every now and then. After the dust had settled and the matter seemed to be forgotten, the embittered twins decided to open an underground theatre where they could ridicule the 2
rich, and make a few Karls on the side. With the help of Alvaro’s Mutant friends, they secured old Dwarfen ruins that had been reduced to a part of the city’s sewer system. There they erected their underground stage. The thespians were mostly Mutants (in disguising costumes, of course). Arias started to promote his plays amongst the Burghers and Merchants of the city. Their enterprise was quick to attract attention, and the biting parodies of the Theatre of the Damned were soon the talk of the town. It did not take long for the nobility to learn of this new entertainment. They conveyed their distaste vocally and publicly, but a growing number of nobles sought to attend the performances in disguise. The brothers took note of this, and realized that they could pluck more money out of the nobles while making fun of them. It seemed almost too perfect to be true. Anton Schopranus, the Racketeer, had a nose for an opportunity to make a few extra Karls, and he was quick to offer the brothers “protection”. Arias cut a deal with him: in exchange for a share of the profits Schopranus would sell tickets to their shows, and, using his men and the Mutants, he would screen the buyers for Witch Hunters, certain Nobles, and other unwanted attendees. The mystery of the hidden plays and the selective right to attend quickly made the Theatre of the Damned the hottest ticket in town. But all this time Alvaro had upheld his fantasies of Anita von Liebeskummer, and he still often sneaked into her rose garden. The night before this scenario takes place Alvaro was seized in her garden by Ezekel Aichorn, Captain of the Knights Panther in Nuln, and the number one enemy of Mutants in the city.
Arias is growing nervous; he is starting to suspect something has happened to his brother. Fearing the worst, he has decided that today’s show will be thelast one. He will reveal everything, before absconding, with the money, to find his brother. But little does he know that a group of adventurers will be in attendance… Enter thePrincipals
The scenario starts when the PCs see a crier promoting a play. As they talk to the crier he suddenly flees a procession of Knights Panther escorting the captured Alvaro to prison. The whole scene should pique the PCs’ interest, and they should try to find tickets to the play. The tickets are sold in Shantytown by a gang called Brotherhood of the Oiled Palm, and the PCs must find and convince their leader, Anton Schopranus, to sell them tickets. Then they will be escorted to the underground theatre, with possible (optional) encounters in the dark sewers. During the performance Arias Froila will reveal that his brother is a Mutant, before attempting to flee. At that moment, the Knights, who have tortured the theatre’s location out of Alvaro, storm the place. The PCs must decide if they side with the Knights or the Mutants. And what are they going to do with Arias?
ACT I he opening act sets the mood for the scenario and introduces our principals to the plot. The scenario starts with the PCs learning of the Theatre of the Damned. Soon after, they witness a procession of Mutant prisoners and possibly prevent one of them, Alvaro Froila, from escaping. After some enquiries, they learn from whom to get tickets to this exclusive show, and after convincing these thugs to sell, provide a piece of skin for the tickets…
Hear Ye, Hear Ye!
The scenario starts with the characters seeing a poster promoting the Theatre of the Damned (use the scenario cover as a hand-out). They should see the poster in several places, plastered on fences, posts and walls. The one that really should get their attention is plastered on the wall on a small market square. A crier dressed in rags of fading blue and green stands next to it, ringing a rusty bell and shouting: Hear ye, hear ye! Comeand seetheTheatreof theDamned! Tonight, for one last time! Witness with your own eyes this masterfully witty parodystarringthecity’s well-to-do! Seehow our skilful thespiansrecreatesuch moments asBaron von Luzt’s burningcodpiece!
To assure the PCs’ attention you can include embarrassing details about one of them in the sales pitch (whether true or not). As the PCs approach the crier he suddenly turns white with fright and flees down the ally behind him. He flees down an open manhole and disappears into the sewers where he quickly loses anyone trying to follow him. Feel free to allow the PCs to briefly assume that the crier was fleeing from them. The Knights Panther and Their Prey
The truth of the matter soon dawns on them though, as a procession of Knights Panther emerges. Frightened townspeople scramble to make way for the riders. The grim Knights slowly make their way across the marketplace, their daunting Captain, Ezekel Aichorn, at the head (for description and stats, seep. 17). The riders are followed by a line of shackled prisoners wearing head cages, hurried along by Sigmarite Zealots. An Easy (+20%) Perception Test tells them that all the prisoners are Mutants, with more or less unsightly mutations. The Zealots whip the crowds into a frenzy with prayers and curses on the
damned, and soon people start pelting the Mutants with rotten vegetables. As the procession passes the PCs one of the Mutants suddenly makes a run for it. He tackles one of the Zealots and lunges for the alley. But, being shackled by his feet, his movement is very restricted, so he grabs one of the PCs by his garments and begs for mercy with absolute terror in his eyes. The fleeing Mutant is Alvaro Froila (stats for Alvaro, see p. 16). The purpose of this encounter is to let the PCs see him so that they will recognize his likeness with Arias later. How the PCs react to the situation is up to them. Being shackled, Alvaro’s Movement is only 2, so he is quite easy to stop and subdue. If they decide to attack him, the Zealots do not actually rush to stop them, thinking that he is just one more Mutant who deserves what he gets. Of course, they can just push him away and watch as the Zealots catch him and beat himinto submission. The number of Knights and Zealots should be high enough to discourage the PCs from trying to help Alvaro escape (stats for the Zealots, see p. 18). If they nevertheless decide to do so, and are able to escape with their lives (it is a serious offence after all), they will find Alvaro values his own hide far more than his helpers’. The Mutant quickly makes his escape into the sewers, where he can hide and lose possible pursuit owing to his better knowledge of the sewer layout. The PCs, however, would do well to dodge knightly patrols from now on, especially if they are easily distinguishable from general populace (as typical adventurers are wont to be). If this happens, the GM should consult the What If They Don’t Bite-sidebar, and throw an occasional mutant-smeller their way. If Alvaro escapes, he will hide in the sewers. He will not go to the theatre in fear that he could be followed and thus expose the theatre and his brother. After the fugitive has been subdued the procession continues on. As the Knights are leaving, one of them 4
notices the poster on the wall and, with a venomous comment about “damn underfolk”, tears it off in disgust. Finding Tickets
The posters say: Tikkets, look for X . Any character with Common Knowledge (the Empire) or Academic Knowledge (Theology) realises that this is a reference to Ranald, and his followers. A Routine (+10%) Gossip or Streetwise Test reveals that the gang Brotherhood of the Oiled Palm is rumoured to provide these much coveted tickets, and they can be found in Shantytown. Shantytown is the disgrace of Nuln. It is the part of town where all the tanners, dyers and other untouchables live, and where mutants are whispered to ascend from the sewers. The Shantytown is a maze of narrow, muddy streets that snake between wooden shanties, shabby cottages, and illicit businesses. The inhabitants have gathered in small groups to beg or sift through garbage for anything useful or edible. It is immediately evident that nobles are not welcome here, and anyone venturing such an undertaking would be mugged, or worse, in short order.
The PCs should overhear people talking about the different matters indicated in this sidebar to give them insight into the background behind the scenario. The PCs are also likely to ask around about the theatre, the Brotherhood of the Oiled Palm, or the captured Mutants. Below, some rumours that they can learn are given. For example, for every degree of success in a related Gossip or Knowledge Test they learn two rumours. Concerning Mutants:
If the encounter above does not get the PCs interested in seeing the play, you can usethis hook to reel them into the scenario. Shortly after the incident on the square, the PCs are approached by the Valet of one Velko Popovich, an influential Kislevite Merchant. Herr Popovich has been paying nightly visits to a certain well-known Pit Fighter’s room in the Reaver’s Return. Anton Schopranus, a local Crime Lord, learned Popovich’s dark secret by chance, and in hopes of making a few Karls decided to blackmail the Merchant. He is anonymously threatening to reveal the secret to this underground theatre that makes fun of nobles and their dirty secrets, unless he receives a hefty sum of K arls. Popovich feels the revelation could be disastrous to his reputation and his businesses, but, being a frugal and stubborn man, he does not want to pay. The sceptical Popovich has heard all the rumours but wants to see thetheatre himself. He hires the PCs to get tickets for tonight’s performance and escort him to witnessthe play.
There are swarms of Mutants hiding in the sewers. A Mutant was captured last night stalking the beautiful Lady von Liebeskummer. Ezekel Aichorn, Captain of theKnights Panther in Nuln, is the number onehunter of Mutants in the city. They say that the Brotherhood of the Oiled Palmin Shantytown can sell you tickets. They say that the Theatre of the Damned isrun by Arias Froila, theexiled playwright. They say the Countess herself isplanning to attend. (False) The Theatre is the hottest ticket in town. It makes fun of the nobility, and many disguised Nobles try to get tickets to see it.
Concerning Brotherhood of theOiledPalm:
They can be found in Shantytown. They hang around the Black Swan. Allegedly, theycanget you tickets to the Theatre of the Damned. Their leader is Anton Schopranus, a devout Ranaldite. (This should only come fromathief or a Ranaldite). They are the most bloodthirsty gang in Nuln. (False)
Concerning Arias Froila:
He was exiled after some controversial play that insulted the nobility. His most famous play is Sigmar’s Lost Pantaloons. They say he runs the Theatre of the Damned. He had a passionateaffair with the Countess. (False)
X Marks theSpot
In Shantytown any inquiries concerning the gang’s whereabouts are met with blank stares, unless accompanied by a few pennies, or the crossed fingers of Ranald, in which case the PCs are instructed to look for men outside the Black Swan. The Black Swan is easy enough to find as it is a relatively infamous establishment. The tavern is a twostorey wooden building with a time-worn façade. A group of men loiter about the building, throwing dice etc. With Secret Signs (Thief) skill, or with a successful Average (+0%) Perception Test, the PCs notice that one of the men sitting with one leg on another at an improvised gaming table has two crossed nails on his boot-heel, creating an X-sign. He is Anton Schopranus, the leader of the Brotherhood of the Oiled Palm (for description and stats, see p. 17). He is wary of any outsiders and will lower his foot at once if approached by anyone suspicious (e.g. a Priest other than Ranald’s, a Witch Hunter, a Knight Panther, or a Noble). Schopranus has an agreement with the Froila brothers: he will take care of selling the tickets for a lucrative share of the profits. It is also Schopranus’ responsibility to screen the buyers for any unwanted spectators, like Witch Hunters or certain Nobles. Therefore, he is very strict to whom he sells the tickets. Usually Schopranus sends his men, or the Mutants, to shadow interested buyers to check them out, while he tells them to come back later. If they check out, he will tell themhow to get the tickets. But as the show is tonight there is no time for this, and the PCs must convince Schopranus then and there. Schopranus is expecting people to come for the tickets (as Nobles are not safe here, they send their servants to ask about the tickets), and he will soon approach the PCs if they did not see the crossed nails sign. He crosses his fingers to make the sign of Ranald and says: Such established peoplein Shantytown? Yelook likeyousdon’t belonghere. Which means, yemust belookin’ for someone, or something?
When the PCs ask about the tickets, he continues: Yes, I might knowwhereyou could get yerselves sometikkets. But they arenot sold to just everybody, ya know. So, I must ask yea fewquestions first. To seeif yer worthy, ya see. N othin’ personal, just gotta becautious isall.
Schopranus will then ask them a few questions, like where did they learn of the Theatre, and how did they find their way here. Have him ask a different question from a different PC each time. Schopranus is not so interested in what they say, rather how they say it. He will use this opportunity to study their body language, their garments, and the way they speak. This scene is a good opportunity for the players to flex their roleplaying muscles. Have the PCs play out their answers and describe Schopranus’ reaction to them. Have him look suspicious and wary if they stumble with their words too much, or contradict each other too often. Eventually, take in secret an Average (+0%) Fellowship Test on behalf of the PC who has done most of the talking. Consult the table below for possible modifiers. Modifier
For every g they bribeAntonwith If the greet Anton with the sign of Ranald If at least one of them convinces Anton of being a follower of Ranald If they are dressed like upper clas If they talk like the upper clas If they disrespect Ranald in any wa If theythreatenAnton, or draw weapon
+2% +5% +10% -5% -5% -5% -10%
If the test succeeds
Anton Schopranus feels he can trust the PCs and gives theminstructions on how to get the tickets. If the test fails by less than two degrees
He will sell them the tickets, but he will have a member of his crew shadow them for the rest of the day. Allow the PCs to check every two hours or so, if they realise they are being followed. If they do something suspicious (like talk to the authorities) while being shadowed, see If They Offended Schopranus, p. 9. If the test fails by two degrees or more
Anton Schopranus is offended by something the PCs say or do, or he just doesn’t trust them. Instead, he believes they are either after him, or the brothers. He will still tell them how to get the tickets, but decides to have them mugged on their way to the theatre (see If TheyOffendedSchopranus, p. 9). In any event (regardless of the result), Anton Schopranus tells them that to get the tickets, they should enter the Black Swan and ask for Nadel. Then, 6
with a grin, he tells them that all they need to bring with themis 5 Karls and a pieceof skin. To sustain the aura of ominous mystery, he will not explain himself. FiveKarls and aPiece of Skin…
The proprietor of the Black Swan directs the PCs to the basement. Nadel’s room is easily recognisable from the inkwell sign hanging above the door. His place is actually a tattoo parlour, and the tickets come in the form of tattoos. The reason for this is to prevent anyone going to the authorities, as the tattoo would then associate them with the theatre (the nobles, of course, do not enter Shantytown and have their servants take the tattoos instead, or have them tattooed on some piece of skin). As they enter his grubby room, the PCs see a wide collection of needles and inkwells strewn over tables and stools. The walls are covered with hazy sketches of tattoos. The small room reeks of sweat, ink, and alcohol. The man himself is a wiry, elderly chap, with a long scar running over his blind left eye, a memento from his Wrecker days. And he still talks like one too, expressing himself verygraphically. Nadel already knows the PCs are coming and greets them with a greedy grin. He asks for 5 Karls and any piece of skin that he can tattoo the ticket on. Of course, the PCs can let him use the needle on their own skin, but he will accept almost any kind of skin without asking too many questions. Nadel gives thePCs a gulp of Kislevite vodka before telling them to lie down on the dirty mattress lying at the centre of the room. Then he will take his needle and tattoo the ticket on a place indicated by the character. The tattoo features a happy face and a sad face with the date printed under them. If they don’t take the tattoos on their person, he will collect all the pieces of skin and tells them to wait upstairs. It will take him twenty minutes per tattoo. After he is finished with the tattoos, he gives them instructions to go to Gunpowder Square in Handelbezirk district precisely at midnight, without weapons. Someone will pick themup from there. Cordoned Off!
As the PCs are getting their tattoos done, Captain Aichorn has learnt from his captives that tickets to the Theatre of the Damned are sold in Shantytown, and he has sent his men to cordon off certain areas by
erecting makeshift barriers made of barrels and crates. Just as Nadel is giving instructions to the PCs, Schopranus suddenly barges in, an alarmed look on his face. He informs the PCs that Captain Aichorn’s Zealots have cordoned off parts of the Shantytown and they are evidently looking for someone. The PCs need to find a way out of Shantytown fast. To create the proper mood, you can have the PCs hear shouting and the sounds of doors being kicked in draw nearer and nearer. To make sure no-one will rat him out, Schopranus is not willing to let anyone who has seen him get caught, and he is willing to help the PCs escape (even if they offended him). He will not show them the Brotherhood’s secret passages, but he is willing to help them out in other ways. The PCs have three options (unless they can quickly think of something else): Fight
They can fight their way out, in which case they have to face groups of Zealots on several occasions on their way out (for Zealot stats, see p. 18; adjust their number to make the encounter challenging). Disguise
Schopranus has the garments of two Plague Doctors, robes of a Priestess of Shallya, and rags for plague victims from an earlier con. He lets the PCs use them. They have to convince the Zealots by succeeding in a DisguiseTest madevs. the Zealots’ Perception. You can adjust the number and type of disguises to force the PCs to plan (in a hurry) who is going to wear what. If they are caught and fail to talk their way out of the situation (Challenging (-10%) Blather Test), the Zealots will mete out their God’s judgement on the spot. Sneak
They can try to sneak past the Zealots, in which case they must succeed in several Concealment and Silent Move Tests. To make the scene more memorable, have them hide in piles of trash, within groups of angry beggars, or sneak between makeshift tents. If they are caught and fail to talk their way out of the situation, the Zealots will seek to mete out their God’s judgement immediately. Once the PCs are out of Shantytown, they are in the clear as they can disappear into the crowds.
ACT II n the second act our principals meet a colourful person, who acts as their guide when they must endure an eventful, and possibly treacherous, journey through thecity’s sewers to the Theatre of the Damned. The mood of this act should be one of hidden threats and lurking horrors.
Come midnight the PCs should be at the Gunpowder Square as instructed by Nadel. The square is in the mercantile Handelbezirk district. The square is dimly lit and no watch patrols are in sight. Shortly before midnight, other retinues start to arrive. The theatre-goers gather around and soon an excited, yet nervous, buzz of conversation fills the air. There are clearly some Nobles in the crowd. They are all “slumming it”, having dressed down for a trek down the sewers. Their ragged outfits seem to be a source of much delight and bemusement to the giggling Ladies. They all have their tattoos, either on the skins of their servants, or some carry items like severed swine heads with tattooed foreheads. A The Jester
successful Average (+0%) Perception Test reveals that many of the retinues seem to include at least one armed Bodyguard. Precisely at midnight the manhole cover makes a scraping sound as it is lifted from below. A Jester climbs up, followed by an armed Thug carrying two lanterns. Gleefully the Jester cartwheels to stand in front of the gathered crowd, and welcomes them with a toothy grin full of rotting teeth. The Jester then proceeds to check everyone’s tickets, and that no-one is heavily armed. His inspection is not very thorough though, and any PC who wants to hide weapons on his person must either bribe the Jester with a few Karls, or succeed in a Blather, Charm or Intimidate Test. After the formalities, the Jester addresses the crowd:
Career: Entertainer Race: Human (Mutant)
WS BS S T Ag Int WP Fel 30 38 28 36 50 28 30 32 Secondary Profil
Move, Speak Language(Reikspiel) Talents: Mimic, Public Speaking,Resistance to Disease, Tunnel Rat Mutations: Agile- +5% to Agility. Armour: None Armour points: Head 0, Arms 0, Body 0, Legs0 Weapons: Dagger Trappings: Rusty Cowbell, Trade Tools (Performer), Worn-out Jester’s Clothing Description: This Mutant is trusted with fetching groups from the city and escorting them to the theatre. Despite his ragged appearance the Jester has a melodious voice and a way with words. He is a coward and will flee at the first sign of trouble. The Jester is dressed in moth-eaten costume of fading greens and yellows in a motley pattern. His mouth is twisted in a constant grin of decaying teeth. A rusty cowbell clatters around his neck.
If theplay you want to see, Then you followme. But keep a handkerchief close, Or thestenchwill surelystingyer nose. And always listen to my bell and keep thelanternsin yer sight, Or you will get lost andtakefright.
With those words the Jester jumps down the manhole. The Thug scans thecrowd and gives a lantern to one of the PCs. He tells the PC to bring up the rear and make sure no one gets lost. Then he takes his own lantern and climbs down. The theatregoers nervously follow him down, not quite sure what to expect.
Through the Sewers
The journey through the sewers is an unpleasant one, and you should let the dreadfulness of the sewers really hit the PCs. The tunnels are dark, pitch-black at times, and the only illumination comes from the lanterns. All kinds of sinister sounds echo down the tunnels. The PCs can easily feel nauseous and claustrophobic. The most dominant feature, however, is the stench. Even if the PCs cover their mouths and noses against it, the smell is overpowering. They must succeed in a Challenging (-10%) Toughness Test, or suffer a 10% penalty to any Intelligence and Willpower Testswhile in the sewers. The sewer systemunder this part of town is decently maintained. The tunnels are 2 yards wide with a 2 feet walkway on both sides of the effluent. The journey from the manhole to the theatre takes around twenty minutes. The Jester entertains the theatre-goers with dark songs and strange acrobatics during the trip. If They Offended Schopranus
If Anton Schopranus decided earlier to send his Thugs to deal with the PCs, this is when it happens. The Thug with the lantern suddenly stops as if to listen for something. Then he says that he believes they are being followed and asks for the PCs to come with him to check it out. If they refuse, he will signal his friends to attack immediately. If they decide to go with him, he leads them back to the nearest junction. There, the rest of the Thugs step out of the shadows, one from each direction. The Thug who led them here refers to their blunder with Schopranus and says: …and becauseof that yemust pay, or yewill ne’er leavethese sewers alive. Wewant 5 Karls per head.
It is up to the PCs to deal with the Thugs as they see fit. If it ends up in a fight, you can make the scene more memorable by having the Thugs try to drown a PC in the effluent, or have a Thug disarm acharacter’s weapon into the effluent, or darkness etc. The Thugs will fight until severely wounded, or when half of their numbers are slain, in which case they flee. Turning to flee, the Thugs douse their lantern and attempt to disarm the lantern from the PC carrying it, hoping to make good their escapeunder the cover of darkness.
After the encounter, to track down the rest of the party, have your players make Follow Trail Tests in secret (to keep the scenario running smoothly, let them succeed regardless of the results). But, in order to maintain suspense, have the PCs wander around for a few moments until they hear the sounds of the rest of the group. They might have to do some explaining if they look like they have been in a fight. Being a Mutant, the Jester is not one of Schopranus’ men, and he will still lead them to the theatre after the encounter. If they confront him, he swears, truthfully, that hedidn’t know anything about the Thugs’ plan.
Brothersof theOiled Palm (4) Career: Thug Race: Human
Main Profil WS BS S 37 30 3 Secondary Profile A W SB 2 12 3
Ag Int WP Fel 3 26 27 2
M Mag IP 4 0 0
Skills: Consume Alcohol, Dodge Blow, Gamble,
Intimidate, Secret Language (Thieves’ Tongue), Silent Move Talents: Lightning Reflexes, Disarm, Resistance to Poison, Wrestling, Strike to Stun Armour: Mail Shirt and Leather Jerkin ArmourPoints: Head 0, Arms 0, Body 3, Legs 0 Weapons: Knuckle-dusters, Hand Weapon (Club)
You should use some of these encountersto make the journey moreeventful, especially if the PCs are not targeted for an ambush by Schopranus’ men. 1. With an Average(+0%) Perception Test the PCs notice alarge inverted triangle, painted with faeces, on the wall. Largerats scatter as they approach, fleeing thelight. 2. Sounds of a Sewer-Jack patrol echo down the tunnel. TheJester motions for everyoneto stay quiet. They can seethe lights from the patrol’s lanterns as theypass the junction ahead. The Jester might even ask the PCs to knock out the patrol. 3. Oneof theNoblemen attending, being unable to walk, insists on travelling in his palanquin. The palanquin, obviously, does not fit down the manhole. Somehow, from somewhere, his servants manage to procure a small dinghy for him to travel in while they pull it along with a rope. At some point, one of the servants slips and loseshis grip on the rope (or the rope breaks), and thedinghyis pulled by thecurrent towards the nearest exit to the river, carrying the hapless Nobleman along with it. He needs to be rescued. 4. Mindyourownbusiness! Two Wizard’s Apprentices are scraping some kind of illuminating moss off the sewer wall. Theyare very secretive about their work, and try to usher the crowd onwards. 5. Sinister chanting echoes down the tunnels. 6. Theeffluent carries a gnawed doll towards theriver. 7. A filthy, mud covered, Halfling sits by the effluent, trying to fish something out of the sewage. With a successful Challenging (-10%) Perception Test the PCs hear him muttering something about his precious…
8. With a successful Average(+0%) PerceptionTest the PCs notice light coming from one of the side tunnels. If they investigate, they find a gang of Smugglers loading barrels into a riverboat. The Smugglers could mistake thePCs for Sewer-Jacks and attack them, or try to bribe them. 9. Someone pours somethingnasty down amanhole. A PC must successfully dodge, or hewill be soiled. As a result he will suffer a -10% penalty to any Fellowship Tests. 10. A Noblewoman takesa fancy on one of thePCs. When shecatches his eye, she pretends to be tripping into the effluent, assuming thePC will come to her rescue.
The Theatre of the Damned
After about twenty minutes they arrive at the theatre. The tunnel leading into the theatre is lit with braziers, and faded pennants decorate both sides of the doorway. Cheerful music can be heard coming from within the theatre. The Jester stops by the door and announces in a ceremonious voice, “behold, theTheatre oftheDamned!” The theatre is built in old Dwarfen ruins. As the ruins are close to the surface, there is some ventilation, and the smell becomes bearable. The large space is littered with hundreds of candles. So many, in fact, that at times the air is thick with smoke. The illumination from the sea of candles creates a fascinating display of shadows dancing on the walls. For a map of the theatre, seep. 19. The main room of the theatre is full of cheery people, creating a lively mood, in spite of its underground location. Most of the theatre-goers are dressed in rags or worn clothes, in spite of their social status. Excited
buzz of conversation fills the room. For a few shillings, mugs of ale and sugar-coated apples are served. Entertainers of many sorts perform amongst the crowd, jugglers, dancers, musicians with their out of tune instruments, even fire-eaters. A puppeteer gives an entertaining performance of Sigmar’s legend from behind a screen, using hand puppets. After the performance, with a successful Average (+0%) Perception Test, the PCs notice that only one man emerges from behind the screen even though several puppets were used simultaneously. The performer is a Mutant of course, and keeps his extra pair of childlike hands hidden under his loose tunic and voluminous cape. The stageis at the back of the room. There are many exits in the room, and theyare all guarded by disguised Mutants and Schopranus’ men.
he scenario will reach its climax in the third act. Our principals will learn the truth about the Froila brothers, and they will have to choose their side when the Knights Panther storm the theatre. The mood of this act should be one of mounting tension that will all be released in the climax.
When all the theatre-goers have arrived, a sound of trumpets alerts everyone to the stage. It is an elevated wooden structure made of rotten wood, standing four feet above the floor. A hunchbacked figure blows a trumpet three times to signal the start of the play. Some Nobles laugh in delight at the sad figure, as he limps off the stage, while the dark red, threadbare curtains slowly open. All the thespians are dressed in lousy garments, and their acting skills leave a lot to be desired. But the text is brilliant, the humour black and to the point. Soon, the audience roars in laughter, except for those whose turn it is to be insulted. You can even have aPC made fun of in one of the comedy bits. Letting the Mutant Out of the Bag
After a few comedy bits, a pompously dressed, handsome man takes to the stage. He introduces himself as Arias Froila, and receives roaring applause. Any PC who saw Alvaro at the start of the scenario immediately recognises the likeness between the brothers. Arias performs a dramatic scene with another actor (a Mutant). In this scene a young man (played by Arias) desperately wants to become famous but his dreams are crushed by an evil Tilean critic, Simeon Covello. But, the young man soon learns that his Mutant brother (the mutation is aprop) has talent, and lureshim into writing playsin his name. The young man soon becomes famous. His brother, on the other hand, falls in love with a noblewoman he cannot have. Seeing his brother’s torment the young man feels sorry for him and decides to give him the credit he is due…
At that moment, Arias rips of the prop mutation from the actor playing his brother, revealing the real mutation for all to see. Then he turns to the shocked crowd: Yes, it is true! Much likethis thespian here, my twin is a mutant who has written all theplaysin my name. But nowhe has been captured becauseof a lovedenied, and I must savehim. And with that, I bid you all farewell! I leaveyou herewith my mutant friends, who probably havea score to settlewith your intolerant, well-off hides…
Just as Arias has made his shocking revelation, and the Mutants start to close in on the Nobles, a horn being blown is heard. Captain Ezekel Aichorn has tortured the location of the Theatre from his captives, and he and the Zealots charge through the doorways at the back of the room. Captain Aichorn proclaims in a loud voice: I amCaptain Ezekel Aichorn of the Knights Panther. The Mutants of this blasphemous theatre, and all persons associated with them, are forthwith cast out from Our Holy Sigmar’s graces, and declared Heretics as stated by the laws of His Empire. Thepenalty for this crime is death, put into effect immediately. Ceaseanddesist!
The result is a total pandemonium. The Nobles try to flee the theatre, their Bodyguards trying to pave them way. The Mutants and the Thugs clash with the Zealots. In the resulting panic, anyone in the crowd risks a chance of being trampled over.
Going through the crowd reduces Movement to 2 yards per round. A successful Average (+0%) Strength Test is required to make any progress. If the test is failed by more than 40%, the character in question has fallen to the ground and receives a Strength 0 hit every round until he gets up. Standing up requires a Challenging (-10%) Strength Test. Shouting or using any social skills has no effect on the frenzied crowd. Arias quickly disappears offstage (see map of the theatre, p. 19). With a successful Routine (+10%) Intelligence Test the PCs realise that most people are fleeing towards the exits, instead of the backstage. As Arias fled there, there must be a way out - a way that must be much less crowded. You can use Velko Popovich (see p. 5) to prompt the PCs to follow Arias. Popovich, who has sneaked among the audience to see for himself if the rumors about this theatre are true, has now seen enough to convince himself of the fact that Arias Froila must be the mysterious person blackmailing him. The PCs, despite the chaos around them, witness the portly Kislevite gesturing wildly at the fleeing Arias, his face red yelling at full volume promising riches and rewards for those who capture that despicable criminal.
Pandemonium! Below are some randomsights the PCs might see when making their way through the panicking crowd. A brazier is knocked over and someone falls on the embers, catching fire. A group of Zealots mows down the crowd, attacking both Mutants and theatregoers. Mad laughter is heard over the cacophony. A Mutant with agaping maw has pinned aNoble down and tries to chew theman’s arm off.
Behind the Scenes
To follow Arias, the characters must make their way across the stage. A complex apparatus is built around an old Dwarfen furnace to provide the necessary smoke and mirrors for the acts. The Mutants know this apparatus as The Machine, and in order to follow Arias, the PCs have to get past the infernal construct.
As the PCs approach the stage, The Machine rumbles to life. This deviltry is run by the Operator from a booth offstage. He is looking to help Arias escape and will usethe apparatus to attack and hinder the players.
The Machine uses the Operator’s BS of 45, and has 2Attacks it can use on the following features:
Smoke: As a Full Action it can release a cloud of smoke. Anyone inside the cloud has their field of vision
reduced to 2 yards, and suffers -10% to their WS and BS. Mirrors: The Operator sees the stage via a set of four mirrors. The mirrors can be flashed as a Half Action to confuse foes, as per Dazzling Brightness spell, WFRP p. 155. For every mirror (T 2, W 4) destroyed, The Machine’s effective BS is reduced by -10%. Stream of Fire: As a Full Action the apparatus can release a stream of fire from the old furnace towards any foe within 6 yards. Use the Cone Template. All foes under the template take 1 Damage 4 hit, and must succeed on AgilityTestor catch fire (see Fire, WFRP p. 136). Steam Valve: With a successful Average (+0%) Academic Knowledge (Science or Engineering) Test the PCs notice that The Machine’s power is regulated by a steam valve. Every time the valve is hit, the attacker must succeed in an Agility Test or take one Damage 4 hit that ignores all armour as the valve releasesa blast of steam. The valve has T 4and 10 Wounds. Reducing its Wounds to 0 stops the Machine. Swinging Chains: The Operator’s booth is protected by chains operated via ropes and pulleys. As a Half Action (or twice as a Full Action) he can use the chains to entangle a foe (see Snare, WFRP p. 106). In order to reach the Operator, the chains must be successfully evaded.
The Operator Career: Engineer (ex-Student) Race: Human (Mutant)
Main Profil WS BS S T Ag Int WP Fel 4 4 32 32 3 4 3 25 Secondary Profil A W SB TB M Mag IP FP 1 15 3 3 4 0 3 0 Skills: Academic Knowledge (Engineering, Science), Common K nowledge (Dwarfs), Drive, Perception, Read/ Write,
Secret Language(Thieves’ Tongue), Silent Move, Speak Language(K hazalid), Talents: Frightening, Specialist Weapon Group (Engineer) Mutations: RottingSkin – The Operator has the Frightening Talent, if he removes the sackcloth. Armour: Leather Apron Armour Points: Head 0, Arms 0, Body 1, Legs 0 Weapons: RustyMace Trappings: TheMachine, Engineer’s K it, 6 Spikes Description: TheOperator is the onlyMutant with the skills to operate the Machine. His background isunknown to all but Alvaro, but he seemsto be very intelligent and academically educated. His faceis covered with sackcloth, leaving only his left eye and a mouth full of sharp teeth visible. The Operator is suffering from a throat cancer that has reduced his voice to an inarticulate hiss. He feels strangely perverted, familial love for the brothers, and heis utterly loyal to them. He will fight to his, welcomed, death. 13
Backstage, Arias Froila attempts to flee to the surface by using an old Dwarf-made lift (see Map of thetheatre, p. 19). He releases the weights holding the lift down and jumps on board as it starts to ascend. But his flight is intercepted by none other than Ezekel Aichorn who has made his way here via a secret passageway (the whereabouts of which he learned from Alvaro). Aichorn lunges for the brake lever on the other side of the room, leaving the lift hanging 5 feet from the ground. When the PCs barge in, the men are in a stand-off; Aichorn can’t let go of the lever, and Froila can’t leave the lift. Both men plead to the PCs. Aichorn demands that they help him remove theheretic from the lift. He makes it very clear that if they disobey, they will all receive a heretic’s treatment as well. Froila, on the other hand, offers them money. He has the moneybox with him, and is ready to throw them each 20 gcs (adjust the sum to make it appealing to the PCs) if they help him escape. This scene is the dramatic climax to the scenario, so you should strive to make it a high-tension, exciting situation for your players, where their decisions determine the outcome. To create the appropriatemood of tension and haste for this scene, describe how the PCs hear the sounds of the Zealots ravaging the theatre get closer and closer; how they can smell smoke in the air as the Sigmarites are torching the place; how the two men frantically plead to them. Any discussion with Froila
and Aichorn quickly degenerates into a shouting match, and Alvaro’s fate is bound to be brought up – either by Aichorn to condemn the Mutant and his brother, or by Arias to accuse the Knight of murder. You should strive to convey to your players the feeling that they are pressed for time, and decisions need to be made quickly. The PCs could try talking Arias into giving himself up, or they could force him down from the lift. Alternately, they could attack Aichorn (he is a formidable opponent). Trying to convince the Knight Panther to let Arias go is a hopeless task, but he could be cleverly tricked into releasing the lever or attacking Froila. This is another opportunity for your players to show their role-playing skills, so let them shine. Allow them to be creative. If they can come up with a plausible way of solving the situation, then let them pull it off. To maintain the sense of urgency, or if they seem to take too much time thinking through the situation, you could consider setting them a time limit to decide what to do. Once the stand-off is defused, one way or the other, the PCs can use the lift to escape the theatre that is quickly becoming a deathtrap. As our principals reach the surface, the tale of the Theatre of the Damned has reached its final, and the PCs have played their part in the drama. There might be some loose ends to tie up, and these are discussed next.
As the pale morning dawns over the soot-tainted roofs of Nuln, the Theatre of the Damned is nothing but smoking ruins, whispers of its legend the only thing to remain. Most of the theatre-goers managed to escape, and, to the great astonishment of their fellow Nulners, crawl out of manholes all around the city. Within a few hours the PCs start hearing wild rumours of what brought about the theatre’s demise, and the fate of its Mutant thespians. The outcome of the scenario depends largely on the actions of the PCs, and whom they decided to side with in the end. If they helped Captain Aichorn, he commends them on helping him rid the world of Mutant scum when he holds a public speech in front of huge pyres before burning the captured Mutants. Velko Popovich could also reward the players with a few Karls, if theybring him evidenceof Arias’ demise.
If they sided with Arias, they would do well to avoid any knightly patrols from now on. The city is soon filled with wanted-posters of Mutants (and possibly the PCs). If Aichorn survived theencounter, they have made an enemy for life. Furthermore, if Arias escaped, he is looking to find his twin. It is up to you if Alvaro is still alive. Arias might ask for their help in trying to help him break Alvaro out. Most of the Brotherhood of the Oiled Palm is either captured or dead. Anton Schopranus has already fled Nuln, and might have it in for the PCs if he has a reason to suspect their involvement in the theatre’s downfall. If the PCs took the drafts from Alvaro’s desk, they might discover some very interesting secrets that you can use as hooks for further adventures. 14
Awarding Experience Act I
Finding Schopranus and getting tickets, 10 xp Escaping the cordon, 10 xp
Sewer encounters, 0-10 xp Optional: dealing with the Brotherhood of the Oiled Palm, 10 xp Getting to the Theatre of the Damned, 10xp
Finding out Arias and Alvaro are twins, 5 xp Defeating the Machine, 15 xp Defeating the Operator, 5 xp Resolving theconflict between Aichorn and Froila, 10 xp (20xp if there is no bloodshed)
Good role-playing, 5-30 xp
Written by Matti Kekki, Mikko Savolainen, and Sami Uusitalo Special thanks to Eero ”Warden” Ruokolainen for proofreading and valuable comments. Cover, map, and banners by Pasi Juhola,www.darkcrafts.net Thanks to our playtesters: Pauli Kiova, Tommi Kujansuu, Tuomas Latvala, and Jari Åkerström
Dramatis Personae Arias Froila
Career: Charlatan (ex-Entertainer) Race: Human
Career: Entertainer (Playwright) Race: Human (Mutant)
Main Profil WS BS S 38 33 3 Secondary Profile A W SB 1 15 3
Main Profile WS BS S 30 25 2 Secondary Profile A W SB 1 12 2
Ag Int WP Fel 3 43 40 60
M Mag IP 4 0 1
Ag Int WP Fel 35 42 31 26
TB M Mag IP 4 4(2) 0 4
Skills: Blather, Charm, Common Knowledge (the
Skills: Common Knowledge (the Empire), Gossip
Description: Arias is a social and outgoing personality
Description: Because of his mutation, Alvaro has
Empire), Disguise, Performer (Playwright), Evaluate, Gossip, Haggle, Perception, Read/Write, Secret Language (Thieves’ Tongue), Silent Move, Speak Language (Reikspiel) Talents: Mimic, Scale Sheer Surface Armour: None ArmourPoints: Head 0, Arms 0, Body 0, Legs0 Weapons: Sword, Dagger Trappings: One Set of Good Craftsmanship Clothing, 1 Vial of Perfume, Moneybox with 100 gcs
who has the ability to charm over anyone on first impression. He has always been the public face of the twins. He is quite ambitious and resourceful, but his concern for his younger brother has always kept him back. Because of this, he has recently felt thoughts of regret, bordering on bitterness. But now that Alvaro has gone missing, he is worried sick and intends to closethe theatre to find his brother, and move on with him. Arias is a well-groomed, handsome man with wavy brown locks, and friendly brown eyes. His melodic voice is soft and emphatic.
+10%, Perception, Performer (Playwright) +10%, Read/ Write, Secret Language (Thieves’ Tongue), Silent Move, Speak Language (Reikspiel) Talents: Mimic, Scale Sheer Surface, Tunnel Rat Mutations: Tentacle– Alvaro’s left hand is a tentacle, granting him +10% to all Grappling Tests. Armour: None (Head Cage) ArmourPoints: Head 1, Arms 0, Body 0, Legs0 Weapons: None Trappings: Hair Shirt, Head Cage, Manacles always lived a life of hiding. Even though their parents loved them in equal measure, Alvaro has always shied away from people. He rarely speaks with anyone besides Arias. He loves his brother deeply, and he feels camaraderie with the Mutant thespians. Alvaro looks very much like his brother, except that he is thinner, and his skin has an unhealthy pallor to it. His eyes are sunken, and his hair an oily, tangled mess. Alvaro’s left hand is a bluish-purple tentacle. Overwhelmed with shame, he keeps it hidden under loose clothing.
Career: Racketeer (ex-Thug) Race: Human
Career: Captain (ex-K night, ex-Squire) Race: Human
Main Profil WS BS S T 50 40 37 35 Secondary Profile A W SB TB 2 15 3 3
Main Profile WS BS S 60 40 5 Secondary Profile A W SB 3 17 5
Mag IP 0 0
Skills: Command, Common Knowledge(the Empire),
Consume Alcohol, Dodge Blow, Evaluate, Gamble, Gossip, Intimidate, Haggle, Perception, Shadowing, Secret Language(Thieves’ Tongue) Talents: Cool-headed, Disarm, Menacing, Streetwise, Streetfighting, Strike to Stun, Wrestling Armour: Leather Jerkin Armour points: Head 0, Arms 0, Body 1, Legs0 Weapons: Hand weapon (Sword), Knuckledusters Trappings: Hooded Cape, 20 gcs (100 gcs stashed away) Description: In his lifetime of crime, Anton
Schopranus slowly rose through the ranks to become one of the many Racketeers in Nuln’s underworld, although he still was, at best, a minor influence. But all that changed when his relationship with the Froila brothers turned out to be a goose that lays golden eggs. He has reaped in great profits from the theatre, but now he fears that the more powerful gangs have turned their greedy gazes on his businesses. This devout Ranaldite can be quite ruthless, but also calculating. He will only go against weaker opponents and tries to avoid any direct confrontations, trusting he can bully people into submission. He is a rather good judge of character. Anton Schopranus is a heavy-set man with beadyeyes, and a receding hairline. He can bequite animated when excited, frantically waving his arms around.
Ag Int WP Fel 45 45 45 30
M Mag IP 4 0 1
Skills: Academic Knowledge (Heraldry, Strategy),
Animal Care, Animal Training, Charm, Command, Common Knowledge (the Empire), Dodge Blow, Gossip, Intimidate, Perception, Ride, Secret Language (Battle Tongue), Speak (Reikspiel, Tilean), Torture Talents: Coolheaded, Dealmaker, Etiquette,Lightning Parry, Menacing, Specialist Weapon Group (Cavalry, Flail), Strike To Injure, Sturdy, Warrior Born Armour: Full Plate Armour (No Helmet but 1 point from the Skull Plate) ArmourPoints: Head 1, Arms 5, Body 5, Legs5 Weapons: Flail Trappings: Destrier with Full Plate Barding, Saddle and Harness, 30 gcs Description: Ezekel Aichorn is the Captain of the
Knights Panther in Nuln, and as theOrder is fanatical about abolishing the Empire of Mutants, he is the man in charge of the hunt in these parts. The Captain is often seen patrolling the streets on his warhorse, sowing the seeds of fear. Captain Aichorn is probably the most dreaded man in Nuln. This is because, for ten years now, he has been the man who comes to collect newborn Mutants as the parents report themto the authorities. Everyone trying to hide a Mutant child knows that Aichorn will come for them – and sooner rather than later. Ezekel is an imposing character. He has dark eyes, emotionless like a shark’s, and he is bald except for a metal skull plate bolted on the back of his head due to an injury suffered during the Storm of Chaos. The plate is engraved with prayers from the Deus Sigmar. His armour is covered in seals and prayer strips, and a pelt of ablack panther covers his massive shoulders.
Career: Zealot Race: Human
Career: Entertainer Race: Human (Mutant)
Main Profil WS BS S 40 30 4 Secondary Profile A W SB 1 14 4
Ag Int WP Fel 32 28 38 28
M Mag IP 4 0 1
Skills: Academic Knowledge (Theology), Charm,
Common Knowledge (the Empire), Intimidate, Read/Write Talents: Hardy, Public Speaking, Specialist Weapon Group (Flail), Very Strong Armour: Leather Jack ArmourPoints: Head 0, Arms 1, Body 1, Legs 0 Weapons: Flail Trappings: Bottle of Spirits, Prayer Book
Description: These fanatics are devout followers of
Sigmar who believe their God is doing his holy work through the bloody hands of Ezekel Aichorn. The Zealots are unwavering in their courage, and they are ready to mete out their God’s vengeance at a moment’s notice. They are utterly loyal to Aichorn and willingly obey all of his commands. Their skin is covered with ritual tattoos and scarring, and prayer ribbons flap on their tattered robes. Many of them have a prayer book strapped to their backs.
(any two), Silent Move, Speak Language(Reikspiel) Talents: Public Speaking, Resistance to Disease, Tunnel Rat Mutations: SeeWFRP p. 229. If you haveaccess toTomeof Corruption, it is preferabletouseits much moreexhaustivelist of mutations. Armour: None Armour points: Head 0, Arms 0, Body 0, Legs 0 Weapons: Dagger Trappings: Trade Tools (Performer), Worn-out
Use Rake stats, WFRP p. 235. Bodyguards
Use Sell-sword stats, WFRP p. 235.
Map of the theatre 1 - TheStageandTheMachine
See BehindtheScenes, p. 13, for description. 2 - Backstage
This room is where all the mouldy props, sets and decaying scenery are stored. This is also a place for actors awaiting an entrance during aplay. 3 - Prompt Box
The prompt box is a place at the side of the stagewhere Alvaro is usually located during plays, in order to coordinate the performance and prompt the performers when necessary. Now, the Prompter, a Mutant with scores of mouths on his body, is trapped here because his leg has burst through a decayed floorboard. He pleads the PCs to release him before the Zealots get to him. 4 - ChangingRooms
These are small changing rooms for the thespians. A Mutant dressed as the Countess is hiding in one of the rooms. Although unarmed, she will fight if cornered. 5 - Wardrobe
All the costumes are kept on racks in this large room. The costumes are of poor quality, moth-eaten, and most have been modified to conceal mutations of one kind or another. 6 - AriasandAlvaro’s Quarters
The twins live here. The door is locked and must be opened with a successful Average (+0%) Pick Locks Test or Routine (+10%) Strength Test. The room is a mess. It smells heavily of Mandrake Root (both brothers use is occasionally). There are two mattresses in the corner. A desk is littered with unfinished scripts and quills, and on the wall above it several charcoal sketches of Anita von Liebeskummer are hung (her name is written on some of them). 7 - TheL ift-Room
This room contains an ancient lift built by the Dwarfs. See TheStand-Off p. 14. 8 – Secret Passage 19